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Third General Assembly of the European Metalworkers' Federation. Amsterdam, 17-18 May 1977. Trade Union Information Special Issue 1977


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Third General Assembly of the l!.'uropean Metalworkers' Federation, in Amsterdam, 17 and 18 May 1977.

-Address by


Roy Jenkins, President of the Commission

- Speech by the President of the Industrie-.Bond NVV, Mr Arie Groenevelt - ETUC statement

-International Metalworkers'Federation (IMF) statement - Report by the General Secretary of tne .l:!iMF

-Address by the President,


H. Scanlon

- Speech by


H. Vredeling, Vice-President of the Commission

- Debate on tne address given by the President of the EMF, Mr H. Scanlon - General Resolution A (Employment and Labour policy)

- General resolution B (European policy)

- General resolution C (Industrial policy, regional policy, and environmental policy)

- Resolution on shipbuilding

-Annexes: -Structure, tasks and objectives of the EMF - Composition of the Executive Committee - Affiliated national organizations.


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AMSTERDAM 17-18 MAY 1977

The third Assembly of the European Metalworkers' Federation (EMF), which brought together more than 300 delegates, was held on 17 and 18 May in Am-sterdam. The President, M:r .Hugh Scanlon (UK), elected at the preceding Assem-bly in Frankfurt in 1974, was re-elected for a further term.

Mr Jenkins' presence in Arasterdam and his speech, as President of the new Commission of the Buropean Communities underlined the full importance of this meeting, coming at a time when the Western nations are passing through the most serious economic crisis since the thirties. In the European Commu-nity alone, five and a half million workers are unemployed.

The main question on the agenda in Amsterdam was the


of full employment, how this could be achieved and what policies should be adopted.

The E~W, which represents some 6.700.000 workers in the Member States of

the Community, Sweden, Norway, Greece, and Spain, belonging to 29 national metalworkers' federations or sections of other unions, called for structural reforms.

As the representatives of the ma.:i or sector of industry, and one occupying a key position in the economy as a wholethe EMF and its affiliated organiza-tions were conscious that metalworkers'unions had a decisive role to play in the fight against unemployment •

.bl itself, no one government can re-estaolish full employment

No one government, it was held, had the power re-establish full employ-ment. International coordination, was essential - and urgent. The economic

"summit" of representatives of the major industrialized nations had marked a beginning. As the largest trading block in the world, the 1uropean Commu-nity had a special importance. Therefore, the ~W unreservedly supported the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) in its desire to obtain from governments and employers, on the occasion of another tripartite conference on employment (governments, employers, workers), a firm commitment to attain the objective of full employment by 1980.

The EMF considered 1980 to be ·a realistic deadline. In its view, there-establishment of full employment was, at the present time, the most urgent prerequisite for the humanization of society.

If this objective was to be attained, the employers and the politicians could not, it was stressed, be allowed to escape their responsibilities. For their part, the unions were ready to support any economic or employment policy measure which would help to bring about full employment. To this end1 they would support all progressive forces both within the individual t.fember States and at Community level •

.However, the EMF stressed that:


" The fight against unemployment will not succeed if it is led by conserva-tive governments, which are allied with the conservaconserva-tive forces in the eco-nomy, and thus have an interest in maintaining a certain level of unemploy-ment, to allow them in the long term to weaken the unions".

" Similarly doomed to failure are the efforts of those who believe tnat ex-isting economic systems are capable, through their own dynamism, of finding solutions for the crisis themselves and, merely by the applicat1on of cycli-cal measures, of bringing about an economic revival whicn would automaticycli-cal-

automatical-ly eli'llinate unemployment 11 •

Address oy Mr. Roy Jenkins, President of the Commission

The main challenges

Reca.lling that this was the first trade union gatnering he had addressed as President of the European Commission, Mr. Roy Jenkins declared in his speech at A.'llsterdarn that:

" We face three _£!.ain challenges: ••• the alarming high rate of unemployment, ••• inflation, ••• the widening gap between the economic performances anJ. real standards of living of our Member States. 'rhese three problems are clo-sely interlinked and each reinforces the difficulty of dealing with the other The weakest economies have the highest rates of inflation, and therefore the weakest currencies ••••• Inflation does not reduce unemployment, but is one of its major causes. This is a vicious circle out of which we have to oreak". rle said that a solution was only possible on the basis of "a consensus be-tween governments and the social partners, bebe-tween the social partners and the J!;uropean Commission".

"The Cor.unission fully shares your concern with the present level of unemploy-ment and we have put new emphasis on our efforts to face that challenge. We have given new emphasis to employment issues in appointing a Vice-President

s ecificall concerned with ~nnlo ent and ~ocial affairs and not social

affairs alone. (At the European Council in Rome The Heads of Governement of

our Meaber States gave a mandate to the ~uropean Institutions to take

increa-sed action to solve specific labour problems, particularly by improving trai-ning and employment opportunities for young people and women ••• We are pre-paring measures to submit to the next iuropean Council in June".

Few opportunities for the young

Roy Jenkins expressed particular concern about the scarcity of opportuni-ties for young people. Amongst the relevant proposals of the Commission were,

in particular, those on the reform of the European Social Fund, aimed at ma-king the Fund better attuned to the specific problems currently experienced

by the Community. This means that it would not only finance training


message is 'structural changes for full employment'. Your choice goes to the

heart of the matter ••• 11 •

Roy Jenkins made it clear that the Commission was seeking to apply all

its powers to precisely the objective ot' structural action in the

Communi-ty's economy.

Far-reaching proposals

He discussed the shipbuilding sector, mentioning the negotiations

current-ly under way with non~ember countries in the OECD framework - and notably

with Japan - to maintain our place in world markets. The internal restruc-turing of this sector was also under study, he said. Similarly, in the steel sector the Commission had made far reaching proposals to prevent the present recession inflicting needless damage on this industry and its employees. 'rhese were just two examples of a far broader design that the new Commission-was trying to bring about. This broader action concerned also the Community's Regional Fund, its Social Fund, the European Investment BanK, new borrowing powers in the nuclear energy sector, and further general borrowing powers.

A great deal of administrative red-tape had to be cut out. Administrative formalities must not be allowed to hinder or delay intervention measures in response to particular needs as they arose.

A new system of priorities

This was one point. A second was the establishment of a new system of priorities in the operation of the Social Fund. It must be able to respond to the needs of major industries facing structural cr1ses.

In the case of the Regional l''und also, proposed reforms ougnt to make it more responsive to the needs of industries or regions where the greatest structural change was called for.

If a major impact was to oe made on the problems, t.tle intervention mecha-nisms would have to undergo some c.i:1anges.

The Funds must not only provide aid for the redevelopment of economically weak regions and the revival of declining industries. They must also assist those sectors where investment was crucial for our future growth. rlere the best example was energy.


In this field wide-ranging proposals were, ne said, being prepared for the production and use of domestic energy sources: Oil, gas, coal, nuclear and geotilermal.

The Commission also aimed to make progress 1n a new energy-saving

program-me which could have positive effects.

Roy Jenkins stated that the Commission was at present seeking to consider all these means in the light of the problem of structural cnange in the Community. Proposals would vary depending on the particular situation but


would have the common goal of advancing the course of European integration and achieving greater economic coherence.

At the same time, the industrial and economic policies needed to be com• plemented by a social policy which responded to individual needs.

Europe exists .for its citizens

In conclusion, Roy Jenkins said it would be false to believe the Communi-ty institutions remote and bureaucratic, unresponsive to the needs and fee-lings of the people: "'rhis is not true. But we have to demonstrate it is not.

With t~e first direct elections of the European Parliament approaching next

year, intensified tripartite discussions provide an excellent chance for E.'u.rope. to get in direct contact with its people. We must use this chance ••••• to make our citizens more aware of the need to find Community-wide solutions to Community-wide problems. 11

With thia address by Roy Jenkins, the Third Assembly had got off to a very good start. The rest of the proceedings - the constructive statements by Arie Groenevelt of the Dutch trade union movement, the European Commissioner and former Dutch Minister Vredeling, the President, Hugh Scanlon, and the various delegates of member organizations, and the clear and unequivocal final resolutions - were to make a most important contribution to the search for solutions to the problems of the present crisis, for ways out of that unemployment situation about which Roy Jenkins said:

11 The unemployment of millions of skilled workers is not just an uneconomic

use of resources~ but a vital human problem to millions of individual

fa-milies in ~urope' •


Representing the Dutch trade union movement, the President of tne

Indus-trie &>nd NVV 1 Arie Groenevelt, told the EMF Asse.'llbly in Amsterdam that

nationalism was not dead:

11 Selfish attitudes continue to be more powerful than tne movement towards


Jlf3 an example he cited t.ne London sununit where the maJor industrialized

nations took decisions in the absence of the h'uropeans;

"With the aim of depriving them of a few more scraps of power" said Groene-velt, who expressed his regret that the amalgamation of the Buropean Commun-ities, ECSC - Euratom - Common Market, had not taken place. It would have opened the way for European unification.

Groenevelt further stated that:

" Metalworkers have a responsibility ~n this field. We often allow our


own national frontiers is a maJor concern.

" Europe is not a reality for the E.'uropean worker, but rather a shadow which threatens nim more than it protects him. And the European elections will in

no way change this if the real problems are not brought into the open and if

these elections fail to lead to real partie ipation in decision-making".


After Arie Groenevelt, the Secretary of the European Trade Union Confede-ration (ETUC), Walter Braun, followed on:

" Trade Unions must endeavour to abandon their traditional weapons, for the traditional problems no longer exist. Instead we are faced with problems cau-sed b the weakness of the s stem itself. The cam ai n must be fou ht throu h the tripartite conferences, the Free Trade Association EFTA) and the BEC. The time has come for us to conceive industrial policy in international terms".


The spokesman for the International Metalworkers' Federation (IMF), Mr

Thonissen, hoped ti:1at trade union organizations would change the present structures in l!.'urope and the world, in order to reform tne existing system to obtain greater justice and social equality.

Endemic unemployment must be eliminated He, too, insisted that:

" Traditional methods are no longer capable of eliminating unemployment. Endemic unemployment must not be allowed to continue indefinitely".

He drew attention to the situation of women particularly in connection

witn tne probJ.ems raised ·oy J.r..rge multi-national companies. He expressed· the hope that unions would display the .:.,reatest possible unity: "Parochial. behaviour on tlle part of unions harms the interests o:r the workers •


.~!,;vidence of this unity was to be provided in the report of the Genera]. Secretary of the EMF, Gunther Kopke:



. .

. .


Tne econom~c cr~s~s has not, as the empJ.oyers were hop~ng1 led to a trade

union crisi$• They have miscalculated. The unions have shown no weakness

un-der the pressure of unemployment if •

.His report was intended as a sort of stock-taking. He pinpointed a number of developments for particular attention- not, as he made clear, simply for the record, like holiday snaps, but because - "there are lessons te be J.earnt and a stimulus for new efforts to be drawn from them •

Gunther Kopke reviewed the activities of the EMF in relation to the Euro-pean institutions and .agencies; they were carried out in close cooperation with the ETUC. He reported that there had been no fundementaJ. changes in the decision-making process in the European institutions:

" Tne European Commission continues to have, in addition to its executiv;e


function, the right of initiative and of making proposals. The European Par-liament and the Economic and Social Cownittee retain their consultative role

~1;-he power· of decision l~es with the Council of Hin~sters, which often relies on preliminary decisions taken by the Committee of Permanent Repre-sentatives ••• ".

In short, nothing had changed. However, there were three important inno-vations, whose significance for the future Gunther KEpke was as yet unable to evaluate. They related to the Economic and Social Committee, the

elec-tion of the 1uropean Parliament in May


and the Commission of the ~uro­

pean Communities.

The Economic and Social Committee's rignt of initiative


In regard to the Economic and ~ocial Committee, Kopke reported that:

" The l!.:conomic and Social Committee has acceded to a trade union demand that it should also take the initiative in making known the positions it adopted,

without, that is 1 having been requested to do so by the Commission or the

Council of lv1inisters. 'rhis right of initiative - and the greater publicity given to the work of the Committee, in whicn the British Trade Union repre-sentatives, after some hesitation, are now actively cooperating- has given the Economic and Social Committee a new importance. But fundamental reforms as regards the composition and work of the Committee are still essential".

As far as the Commission was concerned, Gunther Kopke stressed the new approach being taken by the Commission since January, under the Presidency of Roy Jenkins - whose presence in Amsterdam in itself indicated that con-tacts between the EMF and tne EEC were good:

" The Commission seems to be taking on a new l'olitical dimension and its programme now appears to be more closely aligried on the demands of trade

union organizations;, that is 1 the fight against unemployment and tne

de-velopment of European policies responsive to the needs of the citizen and worker. It remains to be seen how the ideas of the new President of the Commission will work out in practice •

Non-member countries

In his report, Kopke also mentioned tue conclusion of the Lome Convention

with 46 African, Caribbean and Pacific States, providing an unprecedented

instrument for development policy in relation to a large munber of non-raP,n-ber countries.

It seemed particularly significant to him that tne tendency of certain Member States to return to protectionism as a means of overcoming the crisis had been successfully wardeu off.This had contributed decisively to preven-ting isolationism or even economic warfare.

However, these gains could not hide the real weaknesses in t11e internal structure of the Communities:


Under the heading of progress in obtaining the fulfilment of union de~

mands, Gunther KOpke cited the 1uropean Social Fund's action to assist

wor-kers in the shipbuilding industry and Commission proposals moving in the

di-rection desired by the ~ as regards: equal pay and opportunities for

mi-grant workers (suppression of illegal immigration and employment); the

ap-proximation of Member States' legislation on mass dismissals; the retention

of rights and privileges by workers in the event of mergers, takeovers and amalgamations; equal pay for men and women, etc.

Strikes and lock-outs

On the other hand, KOpke said, as regards the question of strikes and lock-outs, the Commission had adopted an indecisive policy in relation to the prevention of lock-outs. He stressed the negative attitude of employers' organizations as a whole:

"During the economic crisis, in almost all countries we have seen unwil-lingness on the part of t:ne employers to negotiate with the workers. They have avoided or dragged out negotiations, and even, on occasion, refused to negotiate at all. Only the legitimate agitation of the workers and the pres-sure of the unions have finally succeeded in wresting concessions from them,

On the ~uropean plane, where there is not yet the same balance of power

be-tween unions and employers as has been achieved at national level, the em-ployers' organizations have shown even greater reticence. Despite the most convincing arguments of·the unions and the support of the Commission, it has proved impossible to persuade the employers' organizations to hold regular

talks with the EMF with a view to solving proolems at lt:uropean level".

After long negotiations, the Western .i;;uropean Metal Trades .ci-nployers 1

Organization (WEM), had agreed to the "summit" desired by the ~!·1F, which

had then taken place in November 1975.

At tnis summit, the .l!.:MF had proposed a number of specific measures

inten-ded, in particular, to:

- conquer the psychosis which had seized the workers, who feared for their jobs, the purcl1asing power of their .wages and their future - a fear which the employers must not be allowed to exploit , as this would lead to

pres-sure to increase production, and in turn, to a deterior~tion in living

and working conditions;

make jobs available and ~nprove vocational training, in order to solve the

problem of unemployment amongst young people;

maintain and increase purchasing power, the fuel on wnich an econom~c

re-vival must feed;

prevent unjustified pr~ce increases, so as to halt inflation;

- reform the European Social Fund;

- protect workers in the event of mass dismissals •

Both sides had felt this exchange of views to oe a useful beginning but, Kopke added, " the European employers' organizations are only prepared to nave regula.r talks with the unions in those instances where tney are obliged to do so by provisions of the Treaties establishing the European Communities. 'r.his is the case, for example, in the coal and steel industries, transport, agriculture and fishing".


The democratization of Europe

Looking forward to the 1978 elections, Gunther KOpke concluded oy saying:

" With the prospe~f direct elections to the Buro~ean Parliament it is the

a.uty of tl1e European trade union movement, and with~n it the ,t;MF, to join

in the electoral contest by drawing up joint union demands. Our tasK will be

to measure the ~olitical ooje~tives of the various European party

confedera-tions against tne trade union objectives of the N\.fii' and the .t!.TUC. Given tne

common historical origin of tne working class, the relationship between the European trade union movement and the Union of Social Democratic Parties in t.ne Conununity will have a special role to plax".


The speech by the President, Hugh Gcanlon, on "Structural Reforms for full employment" imiicated the line which the EMF feels .b.urope should take in the present crisis • .tie saw a widespread moral crisis "arousing - especial-ly among young people - constantespecial-ly broader opposition to a system of produc-tion and consumpproduc-tion too often leading to wastage and polluproduc-tion".

'l'he Yaounde and Lome Conventions had, it was true, laid down the basis for relations between t.ne industrialized and the developing world.

But at ti:ie same time, he said, although the Community had, despite its weaknesses, gained three new memoers Great :Oritain, Denmark ana. Ireland -and looked like gaining more soon -Greece -and Portugal -and possibly, if real democracy developed there, Spain - it had not yet become a reality. Common economic, industrial, regional and social policies were still in their infancy; energy and monetary policit:s . .tlC:Ld not even seen t.t1e light of day. This, he felt, was really an aberration, since they concerned tne very roots of the current crisis.

In his view, unemployment could lead to an extreme deterioration in the ::;ituation and to a climate favourable to the development of reactionary and anti-d.emocratic forces. Furthermore, unemployment could create a division within tne workin8 class: that is, a division between workers witn a job and tnose without a job, or still looking for tneir first job.

The situation in Italy is indicative

Hugn Scanlon considered the recent disturbances involving Italian stu-dents to be indicative of this:

" That is why our Federation is demanding that priority be given to the re-establis.nment of full employ;nent and tnat the right to work oe made a

rea-lity. We realize that this oojective can be achieved only by stages 1 but we

consider that it must be reached by 19tl0 at the latest".

This, he said, i'llplied tne creation of oetter working cond~t~ons • '.rhe


Hugh dcanlon presented a five~point programme of structural reforms ai-med at bringing about full employment:

1. economic growth, with priority given to greater satisfaction of the needs

of the community as a whole and improvement in the standard of living; 2. improvement of working conditions, which entails control of the

develop-ment and application of technical progress, as well as of rationalization measures;


a reduction in worKing hours, in the most varied forms, commensurate with

the possibilities open to trade unions in the different countries in the field of collective bargaining;


improved vocational training facilities for workers, thus preparing tnem

for the demands made on them as a result of technical innovations;

5. an industrial policy which takes account of future industrial capacity.

long-term job security. tne particular requirements in different regions and protection of tne environment.

Public initiatives

Hugh Scanlon talked of public intervention~

11 If private industry is not capable of contributing towards adeqUa.te econo-mic growtn - both from a qualitative and q_uantitative point of view - we shall have to consider very seriously putting pressure on our governments to take public initiatives ••••• including public ownership witn ;public accolln-tability11.

Considering the export of work to those countries with low labour costs, Hugn Scanlon described this as a detestable practice. The appeal launched

by the poorer countries ·was 1 he said, addressed directly to us. He stressed

the responsibility we, as citizens of the industrialized countries, bore

to-wards the poorer countries 1 whose development was dependent on equipment

provided by us:

11 Unless we look for a solution to these problems together, the conflict oe-tween ricn and poor, beoe-tween Nortn and South, can asswne a dimension which

is mucn more terrible than anything we have known in the past".

The resolutions adopted in Aillsterdwa and the remaining speeches made were all mar ked by a realistic approach •


In his speech at the E~F assembly !v~. Vreaeling, Vice-President of the

Commission with responsibility for employment and social affairs, emphasized that the European Commission's first priority in the field of' social policy was the employment situation and, in particular, its effects among young people. Tr1e new Commission intended, he said, to depart fr0111 traditional me-thods in an attempt to restore a satisfactory employment situation and sti-mulate the necessary structural changes in the main sectors of tne economy.

Cases in point were the steel and textile industries, and also tile ship-building industry • .de could see no immediate solution to the proolems of

adaptation currently experienced by t.tlis industry. The .c;.\fF was demanding,


in a resolution, that the Commission take positive measures to counter tne mass redundancies in shipbuilding and its dependent indus.tries. Too many Buropean shipowners were continuing to order too many ships from yards out-side Europe, which accentuated the problems.

~-1r. Vredeling once again underlined the urgency and extreme importance of the structural changes needed within the metalworking industries.

The development of a forward - looKing industrial policy

Already in the past, the Commission had discussed with the two sides of

industry its pJ,.ans for such a policy in relation to the aircraft,

data-pro-cessing and motor vehicle industries, etc. The employers had been a.bove all

interested in the economic aspect of' ·the question, whilst workers 1

organiza-tions nad stressed that any poli.cy introduced must also cover social problems•

There would, he said, very soon be a test case in relation to shipbuil-ding. At the beginning of July, the Commission would be discussing tne pro-blems of this industry; .l!:MF had requested a meeting between the two sides of industry and the Commission to discuss tne situation. •rogether they would take stock of the present problems and examine possible ways (including ac-tion at Community level) of resolving the crisis.

The Commission was still awaiting the agreement of the employers, but be-lieved that it would be forthcoming and tnat it would be possible to hold the meeting before the end of the month.


Particularly worthy of note in the discussion on the address given by the President, Hugh Scanlon, entitled "Structural reforms for full employ-ment", were certain speeches in which a contribution to the search for so-lutions was made.

For instance, Fernand De Coster, General Secretary of the CMB (Belgium) highligi.1ted the problem of the reduction of working hours in ..aelgium, lvhich is at present under discussion there:

" The reduction of working hours is a matter of fundamental disagreement be-tween the employers and the unions. In the Belgian metal products industry,

28.000 jobs have been lost in the present crisis, between the tnird quarter of 1974 and the fourth quarter of 1976. '.rhis decline in the labour-force did, it is true, coincide with the appearance of the economic crisis, but it seems

to be mainly the result of a lack of growth. The level of production

-except in the motor vehicle sector - is the same today as in 1973 and 1974,

which were boom years. Unfortunately, these very boom years led to over-equipment in the industry and as a result, because the expected growth did not materialize , it is now rationalizing feverishly.

" What originally was a cyclical problem has become a structural problem leading to closures and mass redundancies".

De Coster pointed out that, while the effects might be most obvious in the case of companies forced to close down, they were no less significant in multinationals operating on a world-wide scale. The present process of ra-tionalization diu not, he said, only involve a reorganization of work; it

also aimed to exploit the considerable technicological advances achieved


pointed out by the Committee on the .t.ngineering Industries (Commission des Industries mecaniques) at ita meeting last april in Geneva.

Mr Jean Doyen (CC~ill) made the point that the economic crisis had already

been going on for three years and yet "the worst is perhaps still to come". This, he felt, justified the call for structural reforms to achieve full em-ployment:

" The capitalist system must be called to account. As a move towards the

re-form of society, the workers must participate fulJ.y. According to rumours

circulating in tne


we must expect a loss of


tnousand jobs in the

iron and steel industry. The restructuring of t11is industry will require

an investment of


million ~uropean Units. If this restructuring takes

place, it must not be at the expense of tne workers - thousands of millions to restructure undertakings and a tiny fraction of that sum to deal with social proolems. Compensation must oe provided for the loss of jobs. The docial Fund must take action to aid workers made redundant and provide spe-cial assistance to finance long-term tiLdeover allowance" •

. Mr Jacques Chereque, General Secretary of the CFDT (France) described Europe - "tne largest market in the world" - as " a giant with feet of clay":

" Growth is taking place at the expense of independence. dome countries may be doing better than ot11ers, but workers everywhere are in the same boat. What is needed is a new kind of relationship between capital and labour. We must set up a democratic socialist society. Though must not be prevented from undertakings modernizing, dismisses without the provision of alternative,

equivalent employment must not be allowed. ~mployers must not be permitted to

do exactly as they like in an attempt to re-establish profit levels without guaranteeing jobs".

Mr C"nereque stated that the C~'D·r was closely concerned by the correct

nuclear power controversy.

" Nuclear power requires less labour on account of its vast scale. Large turbines can be built in half the man-hours required for small ones (given the same total power output). The development of nuclear energy would cause a further deterioriation in working conditions and tend to limit freedom at work. By making better use of energy resources, on the otl1er nand, one could

in many cases create additional jobs. For instance, if the French Government

carried out an energy-saving programme it could, by





jobs and save


mill ion tonnes of petroleum equivalent".

Franco Bentivogli, Secretary of the FLi-1 (Italy) spoke along similar lines. He ranged widely in his discussion of this theme, stressing, in particular, working conditions and the worker's position in society - his living con-ditions and social rights.

Paul Boisgard, Secretary of tne FOM (France) was totally opposed to the economic and social policy of the French Government, which placed too mucn reliance on economic liberalism:

" We also condemn the indecisive attitude it has shown when it comes to breaking the barrier to European solutions, which alone, are capable of dea-ling with the employment crisis".

other speeches could be mentioned too: that of Mr Breakell (UK), who felt that the future lay in nuclear power, or tnat of Mr B. M!6ller of Dansk


Metal, who came out against protectionism ~n any shape or form.

The outcome of these deliberations was a series of resolutions.





The rig11t to work

1. The right to work is an inalienable human right. ~lark is t.t1e basis of all

participation in political, economic, social and cultural life. Any so-ciety which fails to give all its members who are fit to work the ci1ance to earn a decent living by the fruits of their labour will ultimately

des-troy itself.

2. Society and the economy are not subject to the laws of nature: they re-sult from human actions. 'rheir structure and future depend, therefore, on economic and political decisions and objectives.

3. The unemployment situation in lie stern .C:urope is not solely due to cycli-cal factors. On the contrary, what we are facing is essentially long-term structural unemployment.

The situation is particularly serious in certain peripheral and economi-cally weak regions, in industrial sectors which have undergone far-rea-ching cnanges and among certain groups of workers, notably young people, women, migrant workers, the elderly, the unskilled and the handicapped.


During the last few years, the industrialized nat ions of the West have

experienced the most serious economic crisis since the thirties. In the

European Community alone there are b million unernployed, in addition to

extensive short-time working a.nd concealed unemployment.

The fundamental causes of tLe w·orld-wide economic depression lie, in the

final analysis, in the inability of the capitalist system to escape fron1 tnis crisis of its own ma.KinG by methods which had earlier proved effec-tive.


~xisting economic systems do not correspond to the democratic and

pro-gressive nature of the political systems. ~players' decisions often

de-termine the fate of ·whole towns and even regions and can sometimes con-stitute a threat to the workers' very existence.

Therefore, economic decision-making must not remain the prerogative of employers, trusts and multinational companies, whose decisions are mo-tivated exclusively by tneir own interests; tnat is, the maximization of profits.

The European Metalworkers 'Federation is resolutely opposed to the subjec-tion of the interest of the majority of the populasubjec-tion to the employers' expediercy. The employers' argument that increased profits lead to in-creased investment, and therefore to more jobs, has in recent years ueen shown to be manifestly untrue.


The trade unions are not prepared to accept the present situation of

mas-sive unemployment. In economic terms, it is a waste, in social terms a distirace, in political terms a danger, and in hwnan terms a tragedy.


Not even the most comprehensive social security network -benefits, compensatory allowances for short-time working lence the debate of this problem. It is not a question of employed, but of eliminating unemployment.

Unemployrnent can lead:

unemployment etc. - can si-paying the

un-- to a materially and psychologically intolerable situation for thos~ who have been without work for a prolonged period and to the social depre-ciation of the unemployed;

- to deterioration in the worKing conditions of those who have jobs; - to a reduction in the workers' will to fight within the undertaking and

when disputes arise concerning collective agreements;

- to a division between workers who have a job and those who have not; - to financial burdens on the public purse, the consequences of which can

be serious;

-to the development of reactionary and anti-democratic forces.

Full employment ~n 1980

7. The 1'uropean Metalworkers 1 Federation (EMF) and all its affiliated orga-nizations demand that priority be given to the re-establis:llment of full

employment and that the right to work be made a reality.

The El-IF realizes that this objective can be achieved in Western Burope only by stages, but considers that it must be reached by 1980 at the la-test.

The struggle against unemployment and for job security must be priority tasks for the European Community and each of the Member States.

A full employment policy implies creation of better working conditions. 'rhe re-establishment of full employment is, at the present time, tne most urgent prerequisite for the humanization of society.

8. If this objective is to be attaineU., employers and politicians must not be allowed to escape their responsibilities. The unions are ready to support any economic measure which would help to bring about full em-ployment. To this end, they will support all progressive forces both wit-hin the individual Member States and at Community level.

9. The fight against unemployment will not succeed if it is conducted by con-servative governments which e1.re aligned with the concon-servative forces in the economy and thus have an interest in maintaining a certain level of unemployment, to allow ~them in the long term to weaken the unions. Similarly doomed to failure are the efforts of those who believe that existing economic systems are capable, through their own dynamism, of finding solutions for the crisis automatically and, merely by the appli-cation of cyclical measures, of bringing about an e<!onomic revival which would itself eliminate une:nployment.


10. Witn a view to re-estaolishing full employment and guaranteeing job se-curity, which must be tne prime objectives of any economic policy at the present time, the E.W calls for structural reforms.

The fight against unemployment implies not merely that jobs at present in danger must be saved and made secure, but above all that new jobs must be created. To this end, we must take stock of all the means avai-lable up till now and of the possible ways of filling in the gaps using new, effective instruments. At the smne time, economic, industrial, re-gional,labour and social policies must be coordinated with each other and directed towards tne attainment of full e~ployment. Therefore, only those investments should be considered which contribute to the preserva-tion and creapreserva-tion of jobs. This must become a central ele1nent in future

industrial policy. Private investment should only receive 3tate aid where it either secures existing jobs or creates new jobs, and tnen on-ly on condition that the unions have a right to oversee the use of sub-sidies granted from public funds.

The EMF is resolutely opposed to the present strategy of the employers, who are using State investment aid, tax concessions, etc. ruthlessly to eliminate millions of jobs in an attempt to 'stabilize profits, instead of ensuring tnat existing jobs are preserved and new ones created.

11. An active employment policy must be pursued througr. the implementation of a programme of measures which take account of the present situation and likely structural development of the economy and of technology. With this in mind, the :&\iF declares itself in favour:

- of economic growth, with priority given to greater satisfaction of the needs of the community as a whole and an improvement in the quali-ty of live for all;

- of action to improve working conditions, which entails control of the development and application of technical progress, as well as of ra-tionalization measures and their application;

- of a reduction in working hours, in the most varied forms, commensu-rate with tne .possibilities open to trade unions in the different countries in the field of collective bargaining;

of improved vocational training facilities for workers, thus preparing them for tr1e demands made on then at their place of work. as a result of technical innovations and new production techniques.

A policy of planned economic growth

12. Tne seventies saw a slower general economic growth than the two prece-ding decades, as saturation points have been reached in some countries in the field of durable consumer goods and exports are no longer suffi-cient to ensure outlets for production. A more equitable distrioution of incomes is therefore a major prerequisite for balanced and sustained growtn.

If private industry fails and snows itself incapable of contributing towards adequate economic growth - bot.n from a q,ualitative and quanti-tative point of view - then public initiatives must be taken and con-sideration must be given to other ways of organizing industry, ranging as far as nationalization.

A reconversion of the economy and industrial. production ~n the sense of


expanding the services sector, which is of enormous social utility,

would not only lead. to the creation of new jobs, it would also

sa-tisfy the wish of our populations to improve the quality of life. In the fields of health, care for the elderly, education and training, protection of the environment in particular the eliminaprotection of polluprotection -and the improvement of transport systems, there are many -and varied op-portunities for the creation of new jobs, the costs of whicu should be borne by the community as a whole.

Cbntrolled technological progress


The trade unions are in favour of the application of technological

pro-gress, provided it is controlled in such a way that it does not adverse-ly affect workers or social progress. Changes in production tecnniques and in the organization of work must not be carried out with the sole aim of reducing costs, but rather must lead to improvements in living and workine; conditions. He cannot accept rationalization measures which entail an increased work load (e.g. faster rates of work).This leads to excessive expenditure of physical and nervous energy, the costs of which (sickness and premature unfitness for work) have to be borne both by the individual worker and by the society as a whole. 'rhe unions are against all forms of pressure to increase the rhythm of work or yield.

The unwns are only prepared to support rationalization measures in tho-se catho-ses where they contribute to the improvement of living and working conditions.

The reduction of 'norking hours


Since they were first formed, the unions have been fighting, with

suc-cess,for a reduction in the working week. 'rhe introduction of the

40-hour week and four weeks' minimum annual boliday were considerable im-provements. In many countries other improvements have been obtained, and 1n a fe•n, such as Sweden, they have started to advance in new direct ions.

In all countries, unions have been calling for a reduction in tne wor-king week, in order to safeguard the health of the workers, provide them with more leisure time, give them opportunity to undertake training cour-ses and 5ive them more time to devote to their families and to social activities.

The reduction of working nours, in whatever form, could also make a sig-nificant contribution to reducing unemployment. Among feasible possibi-lities are:

- a reduction in the length of working life, t.i:1rough extended training of young people -oefore they start to work and a general lowering of the retirement age to bO years;

- a reduction in the working year by means of longer annual holidays and additional tune off to attend training courses;

- a reduction in weekly and daily 'norKing hours, with maintenance of full wages, particularly for snift work and work paid for on a basis of output;


Pursuant to their respective responsibilities in the var1.0us countries, we call on Governments to legislate and unions to utilise the instrwnent of collective bargaining to bring about a general reduction in working hours.

The financial problems vhich this would cause do not appear insuperable when compared with the thousands of millions paid out by governments in unemploy-ment benefits.

Improvements in labour policy


The traditional instruments of labour policy need to be supplemented.

Settling-in allowances, mobi;Lity sususidies and transition allmrances are important, but these by tnemselves are not enough.

True job mobility means that the wor.i\.er, i.1aving received sound theore-tical and practheore-tical training, can cnoose between several jobs, and also that he will be able to adapt to future technological and structural changes without social and vocational downgrading.

In the present economic crisis it has been above all the relR.tively un-skilled workers who have lost their jobs, and witnin this group, mainly women, young people and foreign workers.

·rhe automation of data-processing by individual company-operated

computers and developments in the field of computer-oased construction and automatic document handling will radically cnange tne pattern of work not only on the shop floor out also for millions of office workers and Government-employees.

The EMF therefore calls on Govern.tllents to take tne necess"l.ry measures while there is still time ·to prever,t future teclmologically based unemployment

from affecting large number~ of workers. It also calls on its affiliated

organizations to carry on <-~ coordinated campaign, using the possibilities

available to them in the collective bargainine; process, against the down-grading of jobs within undertakine;s and, in relation to the organization of work, to demand the application of certain standards as regards trai-ning, workloads, length of holidays, possibilities for personal develop-ment, variety of work and opportunities fur hwnan contact at work.

The ENF calls on employers and Governments to provide an adequate number of training centres for young people, so as to reduce the particularly dangerous phenomenon of unemployment and disappointed hopes amongst the young.

The El·1F calls on Governments to put into practice the principle of equa-lity between men and women - equal access to training centres, equal

op-portunities for advancement, and equal treatment at work. The .J:<.;~.fii' urges

its affiliated organizations to introduce into their programmes denands aiming at equal treatment for male and female workers witll dependent re-latives, particularly as regards leave on family grounds.

The .E:I-1F notes that foreign workers' right to freedom of movement amounts

in many cases to no more than an obligation to emigrate. Immigration from non-member States - especially in major industrial centres - must be con-trolled according to local economic and social absorption capacities.


The EMF demands that foreign workers and national workers be treated equally.

Role and tasks of the European Communities


As the metallurgical industries are the maJor sector of industry and

hold a key position in the economy as a whole, the EMF and its affilia-ted organizations are conscious of the decisive role falling to tr1e

me-talworkers 1 unions in the fight against unemployment.

The l!.MF pledges itself to fight for the re-establishment of full ern:ploy-ment, together with the International Metal workers' Federation (IlvlF) at world level and the European Trade Union Confederation ( E'l'UC) at .i!;uro-pean level.

By itself, no one govermnent is in a position to attain this goal. Inter-national coordination is essential and, indeed, urgently required. The economic "summit" of the representatives of the major industrialized nations marked a beginning. As the largest trading block in the world, the European Community has a special importance.

The E~1F unreservedly supports the ETUC in its desire to obtain from the

Governments and employers, on the occasion of the next tripartite con-ference on employment, a firm commitment to attain the objective of full

employment by


The EHF appeals to the Commission of the European Communities ·witllout

delay to develop a comprehensive employment policy a~d to act on this

po-licy.'l'ne EAF calls on the Commission to direct existing activitieR and

institutions. sucn as the Standing Committee on Emuloyment, the Committee of the European Social :F'u.nd, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, the European Foundation for the improvement of li-ving conditions, and ti:1e Advisory Committee on Safety, Hyhiene and Health at work, more closely towards the interests of the workers, so that their hopes of seeing a genuinely "social" Europe can be translated into rea-lity.

~uropecw social policy, which nas up to now largely confined itself to responding to problems posed oy tne employment situation and otHer aspects of working life in the turopean Community, must oecome a truly active employment policy, looking towards the future. The coordination of ti:1e various J£uropean Funds and tne reform of the Social Fund are steps in tne right direction, but they are far from oeing sufficient.

The EMF requests the Commission to study the effects of the technological

and structural changes in certain sectors of ~uropean industry on

employ-ment and the organization of work. It also calls on tne Commission in the future not to adopt any industrial policy without first having laid down a corresponding employment and labour policy.

The E!'1F c01mnends and supports the efforts so far undertaken by the Com-m1sswn to improve, through Directives to the Member States, provisions

for the protection of workers in ~he event of mass dismissals, individual




1. In the course of the past twenty years, movement towards European inte-gration has been confined abnost exclusively to the economic field. In practice, the development of the European Community is mainly determined oy the interests of the economy, which is becoming increasingly interna-tional in nature.

2. For several years the movement towards the unification of .l!.urope nas been suffering from a lack of drive. In addition there is nmr a kind of mental paralysis, not only amongst the populations as a wnole but also in the minds of political leaders. ~ll countries have been affected by unemploy-ment and inflation. European integration is also being hindered by tne fact tnat the crisis has been mucn more serious in some countries than in others.

3. In this situation, most Governments are so preoccupied witn ti.1eir own proolems that they rarely muster up the necessary courage to develop tru-ly Community policies. The;y are aware tnat these problems cannot be sol-ved by purely national action and that a Community approach is needed; unfortunately, however wnen it comes to translating this into practice, they move very hesitantly.


The crisis of the last few years nas snaken the very foundations of tne EuropeCJ.n Community, which nas been faced with an increasing threat of disintegration. The activities of the Community have, therefore, been largely directed towards holding ground already gained, rather than to-wards attempting to make further progress in developing common policies and strengthening the Community's institutional structure to enable these policies to be effectively implemented.


This development is filled with danger • .however, it presents ooth a chal-lent;e and an opportunity for tlle Community to prove itself. The prime

oo-ject ive of the Commission must oe to persuade the Governments of all Menuer 3tates to adopt common economic and enplo~nent policies auaed at the re-establishment of full employment by l9BO.A successful Cor:ltnunity policy in tnis area would make it possible for workers to believe in a E.uropean social policy and would provide tangible proof that it is pos-sible to make progress alonr1: the route to economic and monetary integra-tion.

b. The lack of a Community policy for research ana technology, and of a Community industrial and energy policy, is a very serious matter for tne highly industrialized countries of Burope, calling into question the wuo-le future of the European Corrnnunities. It is also a proowuo-lem which, in tt.1e long term, could affect job security.

Jointly 1-rith the E'I'UC, the organizations affiliated to t11e EMF urge the Commission and the Council of Ministers to recognize the long-term impor-tance of common policies, especially in these fields, and to set aside considerCJ.tions of prestige and selfisr1 national attitudes.


The workers and peoples of tne nascent democracies in southern .l!.;urope look to our Community for an example; they have placed their hopes in Europe. It would be a betrayal of tne basis goal of .i!.uropean unification


if these countries were to be kept out. Their weaker econom~es and indi-vidual economic difficulties are no reason for their exclusion from the

~uropean Co~nunities. Being a community means both giving and taking. If these nascent democracies are to be strengthened, then we must be rea-dy to give. Only if all tne Member States are prepared, at the same time as pursuing their legithnate national interests, to make sacrifices for others, will Europe grow stronger and be able to overcome the present problems witnout lone;-term ill effects. 'rhe ,.,orkers, citizens and demo-crats of Europe must not only seek to preserve what has been gained up to now; rather, the aim must be to resolve the structural and social

pro-blems oeing felt in all regions of ~urope.


Tne E~F and its affiliated organizations greet the Lome Convention as a

genuine step towards close cooperation with a large number of developing nations, It considers this agreement to be unprecedented in the annals of international relations.

The ~4F will work in close liaison with the International Metalworkers'

Federation (IMF) as regards the application of the Lome Convention in practice and will keep a close watch on its repercussions for workers in the metalworking industry. It will also take an active part in solving problems stemming from the dorth-South Dialogue and the .t.:uro-Arab Dialo-gue,

9, The EMF regards ti1e election of the huropean Parliament by direct

suffra-ge starting in


as a step towards providing a more democratic basis

for European policies.

For the first time, the citizens of tne Community will have the opportu-nity to express their political will through parties which have formed themselves into European confederations, Thus, the possibility at last exists of building Europe with tne democratic participation of its people. In collaboration with the European 'rrade Union Confederation (ErUC), the

EMF will maintain its autonorqy vis-a-vis tne .t!:uropean confederations,

without, however, remaining neutral. It will develop links with all de-mocratic and progressive political forces represented in tile European Parliar,1ent.

The K"-1F will judge the electoral platforms and programrn.es of tne E.'uropean party confederations in terms of its o·wn demands and objectives on mat-ters of trade union policy and it intends to adopt strict criteria in this respect.

10. 'rhe E1·1F once again declares itself ready to share in the construct ion

of a democratic and social Europe, with the active participation of ti1e workers and tneir unions, and to tnis end it supports the policy of the



I.lfDUSTRIAL, Rl£GIONAL Al'ID BNVIRON:MEN'rAL POLICY Structural changes in industry

1. Hest European industry i.s caught up in a process of structural change

which, in the present economic crisis,_is having particularly ser~ous

effects on the employment situation.

Few govermaents have up to now succeeded in developing, in their own countries, an industrial policy which takes into account at the same time the future production capacity of industry, the need to provide long-term job security, the particular development needs of the various regions, and the protection of the environment.

At the present time, a common industrial policy at the level of the Euro-pean Corrununit ies exists only for certain sub-sectors. !'.:loves towards a more comprehensive policy are only in their infancy. Common policies are

generally only evolved after it has become clear that a particular indus-try is maKing no progress in the Member States, which are no longer in a position to solve their structural problems by themselves.

2, And yet, a Community industrial policy is all the more urgently needed in that structural cnanges are taking place at an increasing rate, both na-tionally and internana-tionally;such a policy is vital to Europe's position in the world, especially in relation to the major industrial powers.

3. Three factors are characteristic of the current structural

transforma-tions: rising raw materials prices, the transfer of production to

low-wa,se countries, and a tendency tm.;ards market saturation for certain products.


These structural chanBes are accompanied oy an acceleration of the

concen-tration process, the restriction of competition, the accentuation of re-gional and sectoral imbalances and a reduction in the number of jobs, In major sectors of the metalworking industry, a strong trend towards con-centration can be seen, the aim of wnich is to form a small number of

.indus-trial groups international in scale. T11is is happening in t11e

electri-cal industry, the motor vehicle industry, ship-building,iron and steel, the engineering industry and other sectors. Small ru1d medium-sized com-panies are generally left •rith choice between specializing and remaining independent , or oecoming subcontractors dependent on larger groups. They are thus 'becoming increasingly subordinate to large combines. At the same time, the importance of multinational groups is growing.

Strategy for an active industrial policy


In view of these developments, the EMF demands the implement at ion of an

active industrial policy, which must be based on plans laying out the path to be followed by the economy as a whole over a period of years. These plans must include precise grmvth objectives for the various sec-tors of industry, based on estbnates of both requirements and demand, They must also include a policy for sectoral and regional structures, and provisions for investment control.


1fuese demands for development plans, a structural policy, and investment control stern from the fact that decisions about investments in underta-kings, both at national and Community level, may oe wrong if they are uncoordinated. Everywhere the public authorities are taking political de-cisions about the control of investments. 'l'his control snould aim to li-mit, in the long term, the risks and mistakes resulting from investment decisions taken by private bodies. With this in mind, ti1e hl4F' is calling on Governments and the European Communities to ensure that industrial po-licy is coordinated at a European level.

Measures to be taken for a Community industrial policy.


With a view to the development of a Community industrial policy, the K~F

calls for:

- concentration on oranches with a high medium- and long-term growth po-tential, which can be considered as the industrie<> of tne future, in view of their high degree of technological development and the high le-vel of training they require of their workers;

- the promotion of research and development, tile results of which mu<>t be made accessible to small and medium-sized undertakings as well; - increased investment in the public sector, which is of great utility to

society as a whole - in, for instance, transport, communications, health, education and training;

- the development of new industries aimed at improving the protection of the environment;

improved infonnation through the development ·of sectoral statistics; - an ongoing study of employment structures, their development and the

outlook for the variou<> sectors of industry;

- the preparation of regional and sectoral forecasts;

- the creation of registration offices for large-scale investments, so that situations where over-capacity or under-capacity lS liable to de-velop can be recognized in good time;

- the concentration of available financial resources on a few industries only, to avoid spreading tnem too thinly;

- tne establishment of criteria and conditions for the granting of in-vestment aid: environmental protection measures, improvement of wor-king conditions, creation and preservation of jobs, etc;

- the creation of joint advising committees, with the tasK of giving opinions and proposing guidelines to the authorities in relation to planning and decision making;

- regular monitoring of the use of subsidies granted and their effec-tiveness;

- serious efforts to humanize working conditions and transform the orga-nization of work;

- the improvement of facilities for the vocational training of wor!{.ers; more extensive rights for workers and unions at plant level.


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